The new TomTom Bandit action camera allows riders to edit and share a video while out on their ride, rather than waiting until they get home then spending ages downloading and editing the video.
The $A579 action camera operates with a free app to allow you to highlight and edit video on your phone, then share it with your social media followers.
It’s easy to use, doesn’t require any cables and the unit rotates 360 degrees so you can wear it on the top or either side of your helmet (so long as it’s deemed legal by the police in your jurisdiction!), or many different places on your bike.
There are two buttons on the unit. The one on the back turns it on and also starts a recording. The button on the front turns it off and stops recording. They are big and easy to find even with winter gloves.
On the top of the unit is an LCD screen and a selector button that allows you to change settings to video (normal, slow motion, time lapse or cinematic), stills, file size, wifi connection, battery life and so much more. It’s foolproof and intuitive so you don’t need a manual.
That’s handy, because the manual that comes with it doesn’t give you much instruction. You really need to get the operating instructions off the web.
However, once you’ve worked it out, the camera is easy to operate.
The cool part is the free phone app that allows you to easily edit the video by shaking the camera.
First off, the camera has a tagging button so you can highlight a part of your video as it happens. It might be a set of twists or a jump on a forestry track. You can get an accessory remote control that you can place on your handlebars for easier access.
If you’re busy steering at the time, the camera also has motion and GPS sensors that will automatically tag exciting moments based on speed, altitude, G-force, acceleration and even how excited you are at the time, via an accessory heart rate monitor!
When you preview your video on your phone, you can skip straight ahead to these highlights which are noted with an icon on a duration bar.
So if you want to go to the jump, you’d go to the G-force icon. If it’s a set of twisties, you might skip to the heartbeat icon.
Pairing to the phone is via wifi and it’s easy. There is a once-only password, then it connects every time you turn on the wifi.
Once you’ve selected the scenes you want on your phone, you simple shake the phone to edit your movie sequence. You can also add music and overlay things such as speed, altitude or G-force. However, be careful what information you make public!
Most importantly, the video quality is very clear. So clear, in fact, that you can get a good still shot straight off a video, although you can also choose to use it as a still camera.
It has a wide-angle lens that will take in most of the relevant action, but you can also chose the normal view. It comes with a 16MP CCD sensor and a fast and powerful processor.
The camera is waterproof without the need for a special case. In fact, TomTom suggests that after a ride, you wash it to get the dust off!
Inside the camera is what they call a Batt-Stick which includes the battery which lasts for three hours of continuous shooting, the microSD card and the USB charger that will fully charge from flat in a little over an hour.
The great thing about the Batt-Stick is there is no need for cables. Just plug it directly into a USB charger or your computer or laptop if you also want to download the video.
It comes with curved and flat connectors which stick to your bike or helmet, plus a GoPro adaptor connector if you want to use it on one of their mounts for more flexibility.